Some time ago, Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) investors expressed doubt about the social network’s ability to win on mobile. Now this is practically the only thing that matters. On Wednesday, the company informed investors and advertisers about its decision to do away with its desktop advertising platform and double-down on smartphone ads. Starting in November, advertisers will not have access to Facebook Exchange or FBX any longer.
A perfectly logical move
FBX currently offers ad types such as display and other formats limited to desktop computers, while it lacks mobile and video ads.
Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) vice president Matt Idema said, “Dynamic ads and custom audiences have mobile at their core and are delivering excellent results for businesses. This is about giving people more relevant ads and marketers more effective formats, especially in an increasingly mobile world.”
Adam Berke, president of San Francisco-based ad-tech start-up AdRoll, told CNBC that over the past two or three years, Facebook has become more of a mobile company.
“That was one of the key signals there wasn’t a future for FBX, and today Facebook is a huge player in mobile marketing.”
This latest decision will eliminate ambiguity, and it will become easier for marketers to reach their users and focus on growing their mobile audiences, said Berke.
A surge has been seen in the retargeting or promoting of content to consumers based on their known likes. An industry report from AdRoll states that the percentage of marketers retargeting on mobile went from 54% to 82% in 2015. The majority of marketers who participated in AdRoll’s survey are already retargeting audiences on mobile, and 87% of them plan to increase their investments in 2016.
Facebook (FB): a mobile company
Facebook had a troubled IPO in 2012, and since then, it has transitioned from a desktop-centric business to a dominant force in mobile. Through this journey, it has made some major acquisitions of popular services such as WhatsApp and Instagram.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg had bet that the future would be dominated by mobile at a time when it wasn’t clear if there was big money to be made from this segment. Things have changed very rapidly. Mobile represented 82% of Facebook’s total ad revenue in the first quarter, up from 73% a year ago.
Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) now focuses on products like dynamic ads and custom audiences, which make it possible for marketers to target customers on a smartphone. The company said it has 1.65 billion monthly users, of which 92% are active on mobile.